A/N--Wahoo! I get to be story 300 in this lovely little corner of . Well Hello all.
Those of you who've read my other story, Stumbling into the Light, know that I have thought very deeply about the whole Keldor/Skeletor is Randor's brother idea I've seen floating around for years. I wanted to understand how King Miro, a good man, could have a son that most people had no memory of and who went so terribly wrong.
The more I played with the idea to get Keldor's backstory, the more I was convinced that there very well could be a story here about the man who fathered the fated children of Eternia: Randor, fated to fight off the Horde invasion, marry a visitor from another world, and father to He-Man and She-Ra as well as Keldor fated to become Skeletor, Overlord of Evil.
So here it is. The story of King Miro of Eternos: Father of the Fated
"Boy, get back here," the old warrior called.
"Really, Capain Shonar, I know you're upset that I bested your crack swordmaster, but he had it coming. I will not be treated as though I don't deserve a fair fight because I'm a prince. If that means provoking someone who dares to hold back with me to get him to really fight, then I will, and I did defeat him."
"You did more than provoke him, highness," spat the grizzled old soldier. "You insulted him. Your words were low and base and especially unforgivable for one of your station and learning."
"I am sick of hearing about my station, Shonar," Miro shouted. "I never wanted to be a prince in the first place." The young man turned into the wall and kicked a training shield against the wall. I want no part of bending before the wishes of two-faced courtiers who say one thing to my face, and plot against me the moment I'm out of view. I'm sick of the rumors. I'm sick of the people who pretend they care for me just to get close to the power my father holds. I'm sick of stiff dress garments and thick stone walls. I would rather be a warrior like you. Speaking plainly and dealing with things through force and skill not pretty words and worthless customs." Miro dropped down on a low bench in the training chamber. The boy dropped his head in his hands.
'At least the boy didn't humiliate Lord Farnel in front of the other troops,' thought the Captain of the Royal Guard with a reluctant sigh. He looked over at his charge. Shaking his head he thought, 'That boy would make a fine warrior, but fine warriors do not necessarily make great kings.'
It had seemed like a kindness five years ago, when he first took the lad under his wing at the king's suggestion. The boy had a hard time dealing with the changes of youth. He needed the discipline and achievement that military involvement can give. The exertion and work of unofficially becoming apprentice of the Captain of the Royal Guard helped him mature greatly. He excelled beyond what anyone could have imagined. So much so that there would never be a concern that the military of Eternos would follow their prince into battle. He had proven to all of them that he would ask them to do nothing that he would not get down in the trenches and do with them. He'd grown strong as a warrior and a leader of men--or at least of the armed troops that would one day serve him as they now served his father, but a good king needed to be able to deal with the common people and with the worst kind of people in Shonar's opinion: courtiers.
"Son," Shonar said, sitting beside the lad. "I know it's hard for you. I know you like to be honest and forthright and that the court games wear on you."
"Why can't people just be honest? Why can't people just do what's right for everyone?"
"I don't know, lad. That's why I and your guard have a job, but if you want to honor what we do, my young prince, you must learn tact and diplomacy in everything. Else you will start a war with brash words and my men will lose their lives in battles that are caused by a prince who would not brave the rigors and maze that is politics. We will lay down our lives for you and this kingdom, Miro, but do not ask us to do it unless there is no other option."
"I will try harder to be more diplomatic in the future, Shonar." Miro said, looking into his mentor's green eyes with his brown.
"Lad, it's been an honor to be your teacher and friend these many years, but you must accept that your role as our prince will be expanding now that you have come of age. You are 18 now and your father has had more than one conversation with me about the need to continue your combat education."
Miro looked at the captain, worry in his eyes.
"He and I both agree you should spend more time with your studies and in assisting your father with his work, than here assisting an old soldier like you're some kind of apprentice."
"Hush, boy. Your father and I agree that you have mastered the art of self-defense and you are will be an excellent leader for any military action that would be needed for Eternia's future king. You have only the need to practice your skills on a daily basis to keep yourself in shape. I was going to tell you sooner, but it seems now is as good a time as any. Your formal training with me is at an end, Prince Miro. It is time for you to move on."
"What? You can't mean that Shonar!" Miro shouted. He jumped to is feet and began to pace. "You can't believe this is the best thing for me."
"No, my boy, you can't, but it is your father's wish, and I—we will honor it."
Miro clenched his fist and ground his teeth. 'My father is crazy if he thinks I'm going to accept this! There's still so much I need to learn. This isn't fair.' Miro fumed as he turned on his heel and strode from the training room.
"Ah, there you are, son," said King Amandor of Eternos.
"What is the meaning of this, Father?"
"I would remind you that you in are in the presence of the King of Eternos, whelp, and I will give you a moment to rephrase your question." King Amandor drew himself to his full height and looked down on his son with his blue eyes narrowed and his jaw twitching.
"I apologize, Father," Miro said quietly, lowering his eyes. It was not the title king that brought reverence to his voice and stance. It was when his father stood thus that Miro remembered how, as monarch, he united his people under one banner, and his sword cut down all those who threatened their home. "I meant no disrespect. If I may ask a question, Father?"
"That's better, young prince. Ask."
"Father, why am I to be removed from training with the Captain of the Guard. I thought I was pleasing you with my achievements in this area of study."
"You have pleased me very well. I have no doubt that you are a fine warrior and commander of men, but a good king is much more than a warrior as your mother has been reminding me more and more of late. Like it or not my son, you must spend time among the courtiers. They have the resouces and the power to extend our influence. They have the capacity to enforce our policies or frustrate our leadership in a thousand tiny ways. I thank the Ancients that Desamira was chosen for me as my wife. My father was a warrior-king as am I. But I have been able to peacefully increase our borders, and our kingdom is more prosperous than it ever has been through the diplomacy and skillful negotiation I have learned from your mother. I have valued her assistance more with each passing year."
"I would also like your help as we seek to stabilize and strengthen our kingdom. You will work with me as I seek a safe and secure future for our people, and you will humbly submit to the tutors your mother sees fit to send to you in the affairs of state. I expect you to become as much an expert in this area of your princely responsibilities as you have been in your study to be a warrior. Am I understood?"
"Yes, sire," Miro said, his face cast down to hide the rage flashing in his eyes.
"Good. Your first tutor will be in first thing in the morning. You will please your mother and me well. You have my leave to go."
"Thank you, sire," Miro said without any hint of gratitude in his flat voice. The young price turned on his heels and started out of his father's office.
"Oh, and Miro."
"The Princess Ranay of Erswiren will be arriving for her time of service in your mother's court one days hence. You will meet her upon arrival and escort her to your mother with all the charm and manners due to one of her rank."
"Yes, sire," said Miro, his voice a monotone. Quickly, he walked out of the study.
Miro brooded the next morning as he walked to the study that would be his new training ground for the next undetermined amount of time. He groaned as he took a seat behind the mahogany table. He hated political games and diplomacy. To spend so much time cooped up inside exploring political manovers from every angle and looking through stack of papers and reports not only about kings and leaders but every social misstep and carefully planted rumor that led to a king's demise or a baron's new time of power among the elite both bored and angered him.
Sullenly, the young prince stared out of the window into the training field below. Shonar was working on precision drills with the newest recruits. Oh how he would have liked working beside his friend and mentor.
As quietly as an assassian, Queen Desamira entered the study.
"Son," she began.
Miro jumped to his feet and bowed before his mother. "Dear Mother, he began, "to what do I owe the honor of you presence." Miro was very proud that he kept the irritation and dismay he felt in his current station out of his voice.
Queen Desamira narrowed her eyes and looked at her son appraisingly. She snapped her fan closed and slapped in against her palm as though it were a weapon, and she was about to strike. "Good, it seems that my son is not as incapable of diplomacy as I first thought. If I did not know you so well, I might even be convinced that you were the very soul of respect and obedience."
Miro's head snapped up to meet his mother's gaze. "What?" he asked confused. Then rubbing his neck with his hand, he quickly recovered. "I mean, beg your pardon, Mother?"
"I apologize, my son, I felt you would like a more direct engagement. If I was wrong, I could always be more diplomatic in my approach."
"No, Mother, please," began Miro, realizing that for the first time in a very long time his mother was going to speak plainly to him, and relishing this rare gift.
"I know that you dislike this mental dance that is diplomacy that is employed here in court, but I ask you, my prince? Can you deny the spoils my particular campaigns have worn for our people and the peace of all people surrounding us?"
"No, my queen," Miro answered.
"By calling me my queen you acknowledge my sovereignty and offer me respect. Good." Desamira said, walking around to face her son, "yet you let me know that you do not feel my victories as worthy of the same honor or respect as you do those of your father's battles." She looked down at her son. "I do believe that my initial worry for you has been somewhat relieved. I at least feel that you will be easier to instruct in the areas of diplomacy having already shown some aptitude in this area by your current actions."
Miro blushed and looked down at the floor.
"My son," Queen Desamira began and waited in silence for her son to return her gaze.
Miro looked in his mother's eyes and was shocked by what he saw there. In her deep brown eyes that mirrored his own were a determination and challenge that he understood without a word passing between them.
"Your father and I were well wed. He was a bold warrior that was able to pull this kingdom from the brink of doom with his sword and his valor. I was taught from my birth the ways of court and how to win an alliance with a well placed word or a small favor. Together we have worked to firmly establish this kingdom in peace and increase its prosperity. I am pleased that you are so accomplished in the ways of war. But I know you can be more. I want you to be a king in peace as well and it is my dearest hope that the people of all kingdoms are spared the atrocities of war." Desamira turned to look out the window. Her fan snapped open startling Miro and bringing his attention back to his mother. As she planned, he realized sullenly.
"I know that you appreciate the plain dealings and respect of the men you served with and commanded in the troops and the subterfuge and careful actions of a courtier are not to your taste because they seem." She paused for a moment, as though looking for the right word.
"Dishonorable," Miro supplied, then stopped as he saw his mother's satisfied smirk. She had meat to draw him out--and she had done just that he realized with self loathing. He had just given her a tool that she could use against him, and he knew it.
"I see by the look on your face that you realize exactly what has passed between us."
"Yes, Mother," he spat now pacing to the other side of the room. "You have once again shown how you can twist and turn anyone's conversations to suit your whims and I stepped right into it."
"It makes you angry?" she asked her face now a mask and her tone shrouded in innocence.
Miro stopped his pacing. He turned to face his mother and gathered himself. Finally, his face a mask, he bowed slightly to his mother. "I see the importance of these lessons now my mother. I will apply all diligence in them."
Deep within Queen Desamira of Eternia congratulated herself. She knew that her son would not relish his newest lessons, and she new just as clearly that despite his intelligence and military prowess that he would not be successful in this new and peace blessed world if he did not develop in all areas necessary for a monarch. Now by facing him in an open challenge and showing him just how easily she had manipulated and shaped his responses, she knew that she had put before Miro a challenge that the young warrior's heart would not be able to reject. He would study as hard to avoid being trapped as easily in the future. She was sure of that now.
Queen Desamira extended her hand to her son. Miro took it as kissed her hand gently. "Thank you, Mother for your visit, and your lesson."
Desamira nodded and left her son.
Miro sat at the table now dejected. His mother had a point. As much as he wanted to avoid this side of his royal duty, he could not. And he never wanted to be cornered like his mother had done so easily. He knew that for sure.